“Help me, I’m all out of lies and ways to say you died!” “That’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say,” you left for Hawaii by Train. This story, I’m about to tell, comes via a salty wave, a high tide with a high-five, explorations by and for shore, a musical (sing along) journey, and a few crashing curses on the rocks of ancient history and folklore.
The song is a musical uplifting reminder, “diddy”, omen, or unlucky break-up, and those trumpets will make you dance all night by the fire. Beware the Night Marchers; thankfully, it’s April, if that means anything. We’ll take the high road, that doesn’t exist, for our great escape to the islands of enchantment, forevermore. Only 2000 miles from here. Don’t drift!
“It is the largest island in the United States, located in the state of Hawaii. It is the southeasternmost of the Hawaiian Islands, a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific Ocean,” and paradise, according to the seashells, seahorses, sand dollars, and starfish!
“The island of Hawaiʻi is built from five separate shield volcanoes that erupted somewhat sequentially, one overlapping the other. These are (from oldest to youngest)”:
Kohala – extinct
Mauna Kea – dormant
Hualālai – dormant
Mauna Loa – active, partly within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
Kīlauea – active, part of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
“Hawaii is said to have been named after Hawaiʻiloa, the legendary Polynesian navigator who first discovered it. Other accounts attribute the name to the legendary realm of Hawaiki, a place from which some Polynesian people are said to have originated, the place where they transition to in the afterlife, or the realm of the gods and goddesses.” (Ohh!)
“Captain James Cook, the English explorer and navigator who was captain of the first European expedition that came upon the Hawaiian Islands, called it O-Why-hee (from Hawaiian) and the “Sandwich Islands” after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. Cook was killed on the Big Island at Kealakekua Bay on 14 February 1779, in a melee (skirmish with your scurvy) which followed the theft of the ship’s boat.” (Source Wikipedia, driftwood, shipwrecks and ghost ships, seaweed, treasure, kelp, bottles, treasure chests, and otherworldly coordinates)
Pertaining to scurvy, “a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by swollen bleeding gums and the opening of previously healed wounds (Eww), which particularly affected poorly nourished sailors until the end of the 18th century.” For our story, I will bring a pineapple, mango, and papaya smoothie, the fruits most commonly associated with this tropical oasis and on the list of afflictions to avoid whilst out at sea. I get so seasick and avoid all cruises, except Penelope. This actress should be cast to play a Hawaiian goddess of epic enchanting proportions!
Speaking earlier of marching bands, we might want to whisper; “The Huaka’ipo, also known as the Night Marchers, are the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors who have been cursed to march the islands for eternity. (Imagine their step count?) The Night Marchers are said to march in a single line, often carrying torches and weapons while chanting and playing drums.” “The Night Marchers rarely appear during the day, but when they do it means that they are escorting a living relative to the other side. (If seen by an ancestor (Ahh), one might escape actual death or the eternal walk of flame) The telling signs that Night Marchers are heading toward you are the sounds of drums getting closer, a foul odor, conch shells being blown, and approaching torchlight.”
“To protect yourself, you must lie on the ground face down in respect. Otherwise, the Night Marchers will kill you. Or so they say.” Yikes! Turndown service recommended, and way before midnight. I’m just going to leave all the lights on and start my bedtime prayers early!
According to sidmartinbio.org – Esther Fleming “These Hawaiian stories tell the tales of gods and men, ghosts and goblins. The ancient Hawaiians, like most indigenous peoples, felt a deep connection with aina (land), nature, and explained everything from the creation of the Earth to the lava flowing from the volcanoes through the stories of their gods and goddesses.”
“Stories from Hawaii are unique, a glimmering gem among the other folklore of North America. Researchers believe the earliest inhabitants of Hawaii existed around 300 CE, and throughout the years, various chiefs battled for control of the Hawaiian Islands until the Kingdom of Hawaii was formed in 1795. Kamehameha the Great conquered O’ahu, Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i, and Hawaii to unite them as one government. The government was overthrown in 1893, was annexed in 1897, then became a state in 1959.” (Source Fairytalez.com and countless dusty records stashed in the hall of justice somewhere in a box, labeled fragile, top shelf.)
“In 1922, noted author Padraic Colum was commissioned by the Hawaiian legislature to collect Hawaiian stories, myths, and legends. In 1924, the first volume, At the Gateways of the Day, was published.”
“Padraic Colum was a prolific author and playwright who wrote several collections of stories for children. Although born in Ireland in 1881, he moved to America in 1914, and began publishing children’s books of folklore, including 1920’s Children of Odin: Nordic Gods and Heroes. Books of folklore from Greece, Celtic Britain, and Hawaii followed, and he received several retrospective Newbery Honor citations.” In case you have another afternoon, “free”, and “free” to travel to other worlds, dimensions, and realms, all the while, never leaving your seat, I highly recommend you read. Extraordinary literary feats, to walk upon with heavenly feet.
“One Hawaiian chant speaks of as many as “four thousand gods” of the Hawaiian people. Origins of the Ancient Hawaiians and their Culture, the isolation of the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the wide range of environments to be found on high islands located in and near the tropics, has resulted in a vast array of endemic flora and fauna.”
“A Hawaiian creation myth is embodied in the Kumulipo, an epic chant linking the aliʻi, or Hawaiian royalty, to the gods. The Kumulipo is divided into two sections: night, or pō, and day, or ao, with the former corresponding to divinity and the latter corresponding to humankind.” “You said, “It’s meant to be; that it’s not you, it’s me!”
According to the source onlyinyourstate.com and everyone else on Earth who has “heard” about a beautiful woman who has out-of-this-world superpowers, can shapeshift, extremely moody (volatile), and lives inside a volcano; “Pele, the Volcano goddess, can be found in many Hawaiian legends,” and probably the first image that comes to mind when thinking of these magnanimous, glorious, lavish, ethereal and mystical islands.
“It is said that if you meet a young, beautiful woman in red, or an older lady with white hair, you must greet her with aloha and offer her help. If you refuse to help, death or heartbreak will fall upon your family. To truly be in her good graces, however, you must visit Halema’uma’u crater and give her offerings of flowers, food, and gin.” Yup, you heard gin!
I absolutely concur and in fact have a recommendation for a divinely inspired picnic of sorts. A dawning of bright lavender and mint floral and flowing “muumuu”, good rubber sturdy souls too boot, in more ways than one, ankle bracelets, and that faux shark tooth necklace with puka shells for good luck; a thermos of Long Island Iced Tea’s, a bouquet of hibiscus and plumeria, and Lau lau, Poi, and for dessert, Haupia, alone, like a pudding, or in a spongy pineapple upside down cake.
Theculturetrip.com states, “It may look like a green ball of leaves (because it is) but Lau lau is an island favorite. A piece of meat, fish, and fat for flavor is sprinkled with sea salt and individually hand wrapped with taro leaves. Traditionally, Lau lau were placed into an imu (underground oven) to cook, but today locals tie them with string or wrap them in foil to be steamed. The taro plant was the staple of the native Hawaiian diet and the main agricultural crop in the islands for centuries. The most common dish using taro is poi, created by mashing cooked taro corms with a stone poi pounder, against a wooden board. Poi can always be found at a luau and is often eaten together with poke or used as a side dish. Because of its high cost and frequent shortages, poi is a cherished commodity. Lastly and oh so yummy, this Hawaiian dessert is traditionally made with just two ingredients, sweet coconut milk and ground pia (Polynesian arrowroot) as a thickener. Today, haupia is also used in many types of desserts, such as a filling for malasadas or pies.” Let’s do the hokey pokey on, I’m stuffed! I’ll need to limbo off those delicious calories at the luau to maintain my girlish figure.
That’ll keep you in her good spirits, and you might even receive a blessing for your troubles or a prophecy of fruitful bearing. Manners are big with this entity, as should all, and it would behoove us to always extend grace wherever we shall go. According to Wikipedia and my bartender, Peach (my dream of a genie, see Peach Schnapps Blog for reference and dear reverence), “A Long Island Iced Tea is a type of cocktail typically made with vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola, which gives the drink the same amber hue as iced tea.” Just as tasty and I’m not usually a sweet tea kinda girl, more Californian than Southern. There’s really no comparison, we’re all uniquely gifted and talented. I’m positive this long island will pair very well with the big island and might add a splash of thrill to its chill.
“There are two competing origin stories for the Long Island iced tea, one from Long Island, Tennessee (some genetic roots seeded many blue moons ago) and one from Long Island, New York.” All I can say, both sound great and might as well offer a toast of merriment and joy for all the above and then some. This nation needs upliftment. It’s good to make friends wherever, ye shall roam, especially out from “home”!
By the light of the neon “moonshine” and “according to another legend (by another brother), the Long Island Iced Tea was originally named the Old Man Bishop after a gentleman who created the drink during Prohibition; its sweetness making it difficult for teetotalers to identify it as alcoholic.” (Source loveteaclub.com) I can vouch for this, and since I don’t usually partake in “the drink”, accidently slurped down at least three before stumbling back to my hotel room. Should have known, I wouldn’t drink that much tea! Quick nap and back to the story at hand, and for another day of writing about music city, fruit trees, harvests, horses, jam, walking after midnight, starlight, skunks, and ghost celebrities!
“One of the most common modern legends in Hawaii warns against Pele’s curse, which states that anyone who takes rock or sand away from the Hawaiian Islands will suffer bad luck until the items are returned. Whether this myth is the result of Pele, or merely a disgruntled park worker is unknown, but each year, hundreds of visitors send packages full of rocks and sand back to the island to relieve their bad luck.” Now that’s power!
I eluded earlier, Pele, has a bit of a temper (social graces not her superpower), like all the goddesses seem to (Rumors) and this next side-dish one such whale of a tale; “In Hawaiian mythology, Ohia and Lehua were young lovers, but one day, Pele met Ohia and decided that she wanted him for herself. When he rejected her, she turned him into an ugly, twisted tree. (I’ve heard this eerie similar echo before) Pele ignored Lehua’s pleas to change him back, and the other gods, feeling sorry for the young girl, turned her into a beautiful red flower and placed her on the tree so the lovers never had to be apart again. As long as the flowers remain on the tree, the weather is sunny and fair, but when a flower is plucked from the tree, rain falls like tears as Lehua cannot handle being separated from her love, Ohia.” Today and likely all of April they are blissfully together enjoying highs in the 80’s, no rainy days, or Monday’s getting them down.
“April is the last month of the winter season called ’Hooilo´. Temperatures range between 68°F and 82°F. The water temperature starts to rise to 77°F which opens the doors to a wonderful beach vacation. Also, the average rainfall of 8 days which was higher in the months before, has dropped and it begins to be much drier as we head towards the summer season. Days, rainbows, and daydreams are becoming longer with 9 hours of sunshine on average.” (Source vacation-weather.com) Surf’s up Bra, let’s ride some waves or go fishing!
I see a few similar waves here, choppy and dicey as they come, some thrashing against the sheer cliffs, some calm, and some perilously quiet, deathly and haunting still, and like Pele, I have an older sister who hates me, without reason, unless it’s based on my being born. Not exactly sure how their rift began and like mine, no end in sight. “Legend has it that Pele and her older sister, Nāmaka were enemies. It is said that an intense fight between the two led to the birth of the Hawaiian Islands. The two began fighting where Kauai is located. Pele would start fires or create fire pits and Nāmaka would put them out with the sea and attack her sister.” Sounds like a “tit for tat”, and a lot of that! They can move mountains; explosively!
Even with all the turmoil with her sister, Pele seems to attract visitors and suitors still, but long ago and over the hills love blossomed. Either way or that way, while on your way to see Pele, beware the Menehune. Stay out of view or be turned to stone. Luckily this isn’t Circe and we’re not cast into a swine of a spell. “There are four million visitors to the Hawaiian Islands each year and over 16 billion dollars are spent there with 21 percent of Hawaii’s economy driven by tourism.” Worth every shiny lucky penny!
The mind can conjure a multitude of visions (The Mummy showed me one) or versions from Aloha to Oz and back again, but perfectly described from Listverse.com; “Menehune are dwarf-like creatures that reside in lush forests, far from civilization. These 2-foot-tall creatures are portrayed as mysterious, but also have excellent craftsmanship (said par to no others on Earth or maybe the offspring of Atlantis, Lemuria, Moo, and others on this flipside of the pond), constructing anything they desire. They are credited with building the Menehune Fishpond on Kauai, in just one night.”
“They’re often portrayed as mischievous, but they also possess the supernatural ability to build or construct anything they desire within a day. Known as master builders, they were often hired by the native Hawaiians to build homes, temples, and heiaus (places of worship). They are very shy and prefer to work at night when no one is around. If they are caught in the act, they will drop what they’re doing and disappear, never to finish their work. And if you’re the person who interrupts them (Boo), you’ll be turned to stone.” “If you hear the sound of splashing near the beach or waterfall at night, it’s said to be from a Menehune. Apparently, one of their favorite pastimes, besides playing pranks on islanders, is diving.” “You’re leaving now for my own good; that’s cool, but if my friends ask where you are I’m gonna say”, looking for Pele’s love once, named Kama Pua’a.
“Kama Pua’a was both a powerful chief and a destructive monster, a hog god with superhuman powers. According to legend, he could shape-shift and command the rain and waters to obey him. One day, Kama Pua’a made his way to the island of Hawaii, to Kalua Pele (the pit of Pele) where the fire goddess lived with her people. Pele and Kama Pua’a were married (see estranged courtships), but not for long as Pele could not handle Kama Pua’a’s hog instincts and habits. The two had great fights; Pele sent streams of flowing lava, and Kama Pua’a called for the ocean waters to rise. Pele eventually called upon the gods of the underworld for help, and Kama Pua’a was forced to surrender and turned himself into a fish. The fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, (try saying that ten times and not summon a demon) has thick skin to withstand the boiling waves through which it must swim to reach the depths of the sea.”
So, you think your break-ups are bad? This war of these volcano roses seeded so long ago, at 13,796 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea the highest point in the state of Hawaii. Much of the mountain, however, is underwater, and if measured from its oceanic base, it would be 33,000 feet tall, which would be higher than Mount Everest! We’ll scale those origins another day, but definitely in this lifetime. Sure, wish they’d “loaner” one of those uso’s, it would take us “no time” to get there! I digress and am deathly afraid of Poseidon, so I’ll stick to land and the rest of this story.
Some people are just meant to live alone or apart, whatever your preference, and “Pele and the demigod Kama Pua’a (a half man, half pig) finally agreed to never see each other again. The myth goes on to explain that you cannot take pork over the Pali Highway, which separates the Windward side of Oahu from Honolulu, because it means that you are symbolically taking Kama Pua’a from one side of the island to the other. If you try to bring pork across, your car will stop at some point along the journey and an old woman with a dog will appear. To continue on your way, you must feed the pork to the dog.” Another good reason to quit eating pork, and thus, I quit eating pork long ago. I have too many boars (Zodiac) in my genetics and that would be too close to home, if you get my drift, and genetically speaking they are “related” or cross pollinated. Can’t be good for our digestive tracks.
“There is no doubt that the Old Pali Road, located in the Nuuanu Valley, appears to be the center for most of Oahu‘s supernatural activities. Way before the current Pali Highway replaced the old road, it was once the site of the most important battles the Hawaiian islands have ever witnessed. In 1795, in a battle for the unification of the Hawaiian islands, King Kamehameha I forced thousands of his opponents to jump to their deaths off the Nuuanu Pali cliff. Their ghosts are still seen falling to this day.” (Listverse.com) We’ll hymm a respectful prayer, bow, adieu, and goodbye for now and on the trail of memories from tragic endings, we’ll look for a particular flower that’ll be our star to guide us back and our weary hearts some love.
“Found along the beaches and in the mountains, the Naupaka is one of the most common plants in Hawaii, and the flowers look as though they have been torn in half. Legend has it, Naupaka was a beautiful princess who fell in love with Kaui, a commoner. The lovers could never marry, so Naupaka vowed to stay in the mountains, and Kaui remained near the ocean. Before leaving each other for the final time, Naupaka took the flower from her hair and gave half of it to Kaui. The nearby plants were so upset that the next day, they began to bloom only half flowers in honor of the star-crossed and separated lovers.”
Across miles and miles of colossal waves, I can hear the tales of beauty, fire, sorcery, pure magic, history, and love spells true. Thank you for sailing along with this soul sister, to the islands of tropical dreams, inspiration, music, culture, folklore, mythology, and photography heaven. Next time we “chat”, maybe we’ll meet Virginia and inhale the intoxicating smell of drops of Juniper that only grow upon Jupiter. The entire reason for this post was in hopes that you’ll play that song, ya know the one, that goes all night long …. “I wanna live a thousand lives with you, I wanna be the one you’re dying to love.” “Help me, help me, I’m no good at goodbyes!”